About Richard Lawrence

Richard is partner at Agile For All and an agile trainer and coach. He helps teams and organizations become happier and more productive. When Richard's not working with clients, he's usually on his mountain bike with his wife and three boys.

MHA 2015 Slides: Resistance to Change Doesn’t Exist

Thanks to everyone who attended my Mile High Agile 2015 session, “Resistance to Change Doesn’t Exist.” Here are the slides and handouts:



If you missed the session, you can catch it again at Humanizing Work 2015, our alumni conference, along with lots of other great advanced content.

Splitting Stories in Chinese (or, 用户故事切分招数)

Thanks to Bob Jiang for the translation (with feedback from Evelyn Tian and Daniel Teng).


This poster is also available in English, French, German, Russian, and Spanish. You’re welcome to print copies for personal use.

For more information, see our story splitting resources page.

Why You’ll Want to Attend Humanizing Work 2015

Every year, we put on a conference just for agile practitioners who’ve been in one of our classes. Check out this 90 second video to see what makes the Humanizing Work Conference so special:

We hope you’ll join us at the next Humanizing Work Conference in July 2015. If you haven’t been in one of our classes yet, there are plenty of opportunities to attend a public CSM or CSPO, or contact us about a private Agile for Teams class for your organization.

Sign up for our conference newsletter to keep up with the latest news and to be notified when registration opens in January:

Agile Homeschool Update

Last year, I wrote about how we use an agile approach for homeschool.

Since then, we’ve refined our approach. This school year, we updated our board to reflect some of those changes. [Read more…]

Cynefin and Story Splitting

Cynefin as of June 2014 - From Dave Snowden, released under CC BY 3.0

Cynefin as of June 2014 – From Dave Snowden, released under CC BY 3.0

As I was preparing for my Agile Denver session on Unscaling, which leaned heavily on the Cynefin Framework, I reread Liz Keogh’s excellent post, “Cynefin for Devs.” I realized that I use my story splitting patterns in a few different ways depending on the domain, and I’ve never been explicit about this (which probably confuses people I’m coaching). [Read more…]

Agile Denver Session Notes: Unscaling

For those who attended last night’s Agile Denver meetup, here are the slides and some additional resources for you… [Read more…]

Scrum Basics: When Should We Schedule Sprint Transitions?

We’re often asked which day or days are best for scheduling the Sprint Planning, Review, and Retrospective meetings. [Read more…]

Org Structure, Software Architecture, and Cross-functional Teams

Just as people often look like their pets...

Just as people often look like their pets…

Some 46 years ago, Melvin Conway wrote, “Any organization that designs a system (defined broadly) will produce a design whose structure is a copy of the organization’s communication structure.”

This idea is known as “Conway’s Law,” and the converse is known as “Reverse Conway’s Law.” It’s as true today as it was a half century ago.

The basic idea is this: Your organizational structure drives a particular software architecture. And your software architecture drives a particular organizational structure. People who work closely together and communicate frequently will create software that reflects this and vice versa.

The Reinforcing Loop of Org Structure and Software Architecture

This dynamic leads to one of the major points of friction for established organizations trying to become agile: [Read more…]

MHA 2014 Session Notes: Models for Support

For those who attended my Mile High Agile 2014 session, Models for Support, here are the photos of the flip charts (with a little explanatory text around them):

MHA14 Models for Support Thumbnail

Were you there? Share your biggest takeaways from the session in the comments.

Taking Agile Beyond Software

Two years ago, when Bob and I merged our companies into today’s Agile For All, we wrote out a vision statement for the company that began, “For software organizations and the people who work with them…” We knew how to help software organizations become successful. Since we teach our clients to focus on a well-defined target customer, it was logical for us to focus on software development.

As is often the case, though, serving one target market well often leads to the actual market growing well beyond that target. As we focused on helping software teams succeed, other parts of their organizations noticed…and they wanted the same results. Our work thus naturally expanded beyond software development (thereby growing into our name).

Now that we’ve worked with a handful of non-software organizations, from sales and marketing to education, we’re seeing the patterns that make an agile approach work outside of software, and we’re experiencing a wave of interest from a variety of companies, so we’re taking what we’ve learned public. This March, we’re offering a public “Intro to Agile Beyond Software” class in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the home of one of our most successful “agile beyond software” clients, Geonetric. You can read more about the class and get signed up on the Eventbrite registration page. Discounted early bird registration ends February 5th.